What is employer branding and why is it important?

The power of employer branding is gaining pace across sectors as more employers realise the importance of highlighting their company culture and benefits to attract top talent. Gone are the days of posting a job advert and hoping applications flood in. And, too, are the days when boardroom beanbags counted as looking after your employees.

With employer branding week taking place from the 10th to 16th June, in this blog, we explore the benefits of employer branding.

 

It’s all about that brand…

Nowadays, when a job seeker begins their job search, their online search queries might include: "Top companies to work for in 2021" or "top companies in the UK finance industry." A corporate reputation matters more than ever.

A survey conducted by Wonderful Workplaces, showed that 94% of candidates consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs and 45% of passive job seekers would apply for a job if it was to work for an amazing brand. Findings from LinkedIn show that companies with a great employer brand are seeing a 50% reduction in cost per hire.

 

What is Employer branding?

At its most basic definition, an employer brand is the company’s reputation among the workforce as well as the employees perception of their employer. Employer branding is how you market your organisation to both job seekers and internal staff. The firms that are better at employer branding are more likely to attract and retain top talent.

 

Benefits of Employer branding

There are both tangible and intangible benefits.

1.It speeds up the recruitment process

Every hiring manager (and recruiter) understands what a time-consuming process recruitment can be; both financially and in terms of time taken to fill the post. A good employer brand reduces this time as the brand attracts the best talent in the job market, thereby improving the quality of hires. According to The Future Talent report by LinkedIn, 86% of companies are building a strong employer brand to attract and retain talent.

2. It benefits current employees too

A satisfied employee is the company’s best spokesperson. Not to mention that it makes referrals more likely and this reduces recruitment time, costs and improves the quality of hires. Good employer branding boosts the employee retention rate as an organised corporate culture, the feeling of belonging, and motivation lead to better retention. Employer turnover rate, which leads to business disruption and high replacement costs, is reduced.

 

Employer branding activities

So, what are you doing in your workplace to make it an enticing workplace‚ for both current and future employees? The good news is that with even small, simple tweaks, organisations can improve their employer branding strategies in order to attract, recruit, and retain the best workers.

The Future Talent Report by LinkedIn shows:

  • 46% are sharing company values and work culture.
  • 42% emphasising their organisation’s belief in diversity.
  • 42% showing the importance of innovation to stay ahead of the curve.

Everything from the salary and benefit packages you offer, to training opportunities, remote working options and regular social events, the organisational culture and the treatment of employees can impact the impression you’re trying to make on potential candidates. This is one reason why graduate recruitment, particularly around financial service and consultancy firms, is so competitive.

 

Promoting your employer brand

Building a strong employer brand requires close collaboration between the marketing, brand management, human resource and talent acquisition teams.

Creating a strong employer brand is about good storytelling. It’s about how you want your firm to be perceived in the marketplace, using specific messaging to help attract the kind of employees you are looking for.

Social media managers can be instrumental in employer branding, using the corporate LinkedIn and other social media networks to represent the brand and spread the word about the company. This is strengthened when employees use their social networks to promote the organisation too.

 

Nail the onboarding process. 

The first 90 days are critical to turning a new team member into a productive employee. Your company can make a lasting first impression by offering a smooth onboarding process. Provide new hires with the tools and introductions they need to hit the ground running. If onboarding takes place remotely additional support should be provided.

Training and growth

Offer training and opportunities. Recruitment costs can be saved by promoting from within, so give staff opportunities for personal growth and professional development. Offer management and leadership training, certifications, and avenues for career advancement to capture candidate interest and employee commitment.

 

Content

Job hunters often check out a company blog, so ensure content is current with news and articles written by company leaders, all in a personable voice. Videos, photos, and slideshows can tell your company story, celebrate diverse employees, and show workspaces.

Employer branding will play a bigger role in attracting and retaining talent throughout 2021. The companies that managed the pandemic well, treated staff fairly, arranged working from home and provided other benefits, remain in a stronger position. It’s not uncommon now for hiring managers to be asked in the interview how they handled the pandemic and what steps were carried out to support existing staff.

A positive employer brand is critical. Without one, hiring and retaining the best employees is challenging and costly.